Saturday, August 24, 2013

What's a writer to do when they lose their muse?

You sit there - staring at your monitor - praying that the words will come - but they don't....

Writer's block. Most of us have experienced it and those that haven't - well, consider yourself lucky. There's probably a multitude of reasons that we seem to lose the connection with our muse. Work, family, sickness...  Maybe it's as simple and as complicated as trying to force our story to follow our carefully laid out "plan" - only the characters in our heads aren't cooperating. Whatever the reason, the outcome is the same.  We're stuck.  No words are coming - not ones we're satisfied with anyway.  So - what to do?

I've come to think that perhaps we need to feed our creative selves just as we feed our physical selves. For me, I head to the beach or down to the river.  I can usually count on something being there to spark my imagination.  A piece of driftwood might bring to mind a shipwreck - and that leads to the sailors that were aboard.  Maybe one of those sailors survived...  A broken conch shell might make me visualize an octopus lying in wait for its next meal and that may lead to killer hiding in the shadows waiting for some unsuspecting person to go on their nightly run.

The thing is, we each have to find whatever it is that recharges our creative batteries so to speak. For me, it's being near the water.  For you, it may be visiting an art gallery or people watching at your favorite coffee shop.  After working full time jobs and taking care of homes and families, we may feel there isn't enough time in the day to recharge.  It's one of those things that we should make mandatory.  If we can put the trash out on Thursday nights, surely we can set aside an hour or so to let our imaginations run wild.

Writing is what makes us happy.  It's the thing that makes us tick.  We owe it to ourselves to find the time to feed our creative selves.

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